Fall Break (or just a break)

So.... long time, no see. This is by far the longest blogging drought I've experienced since I started this little online diary. Sorry. I don't really have a good excuse. I got busy, I got behind, then I got so far behind it felt like I would never dig out and it just seemed easier to ignore the whole thing. And truth be told, I haven't felt much desire to come on here and write anyway. The only reason I've been pulled back at all is just the need to establish some type of record that these events happened at all. More for my benefit than for anyone else's (although my mom did ask the other day if I was going to update).

Anyway, let's see what happens. I'll try to throw the big life events up here that have happened in the last couple months, although I'm going to back date them so I don't feel so bad about myself... Wouldn't that be a lovely life feature. Hindsight is 20/20, but now you can actually backdate your events so your life doesn't look like quite a mess... Someone figure out how to do that.

But  back to the show. (I'm a little rusty, obviously.) Fall Break. This year we spent fall break at a lovely condo right on the beach in Ft. Walton, Florida. The place came highly recommended from Matt's  mom, who stays in this very unit each year on her annual girl's trip. We invited both sets of grandparents to join us because, the more the merrier! And honestly, the trip was perfect.

The lovely thing about our location was the easy beach access. I've never stayed quite so close to the beach before, but now I'm spoiled. We only had to climb one flight of steps to get to our unit, and the beach was reached by simply walking downstairs, past the pools, over the boardwalk, and onto the sand. The condo came with two free beach chairs and umbrella, set up for us each day. And being that close to our place meant we didn't even need to drag that much stuff down with us. Hungry? Run inside and get a snack! Tired of the beach? Walk over the pool for a bit! Forgot something inside? Have someone toss it off the balcony to you! Perfect.

The view from our boardwalk.

The girls insisted on hitting the beach the moment we arrived.

Beach babies.

Frame it.
Fall break happened to coincide with Annie's birthday, so we just hauled all the decorations, presents and cupcakes down to Florida with us. Girlfriend turned three in grand style, with her requested Minnie Mouse cupcakes. She got some kitchen stuff, a balance bike (that she promptly refused to ride so Violet happily commandeered) and other goodies. What a sweet girl.


Ready to cook!
The great thing about having so many people at the beach was that there was always someone willing to do what I wanted to do, and always plenty of people to hang back and do something else. I highly recommend traveling with a large contingency of babysitters and amusement-makers. No one ever felt like they were stuck watching the kids, and conversely, no one ever felt like they were forced to always entertain the kids. Every morning I crept downstairs to watch the sunrise with my mug of coffee and whoever felt like coming with me, and every evening there was someone to take a stroll with. One afternoon Violet and I watched a wind surfer, witnessed a wedding, and took in the sunset.

My brown-eyed girl.

The crew!
About halfway through our stay, I happened to notice a picture on instagram from my neighbor, who happened to be staying only 20 minutes away! We quickly made plans to meet up at the local mini golf place to let the kids play and have dinner after. You'd think we see enough of each other at home, but now that Amy and I teach at different schools, we see far less of each other than we're used to, so it was a lovely little "reunion". And of course, my girls adore those boys.

Ready for putt putt!

Family time!

After my morning yoga session on the balcony.
 Our last night in town, we drove over to Harbor Walk. The girls rode the little train around the plaza and we had dinner overlooking a magnificent sunset. It's funny how quickly life at the beach becomes normal. I had to keep reminding myself that we don't get sunsets like this back home.

All aboard!

Dinner with a view.
Last sunrise.

Goodbye, Fields of Gold

My parents had to head home a day early, but on our last morning we finally remembered to take a family picture by accosting some poor soul who was trying to enjoy his morning coffee on the beach and talking him into snapping a few for us. It was such a great, relaxing trip. And of course, now I'm totally spoiled and will be insisting on spending every fall break this way. Hope the grandparents are up for it!

Best Vacation Ever.

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